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Jail for woman who left victim scarred for life

A LUCAN woman who left her victim with permanent scarring after she slashed her face and breast with a broken bottle has been sentenced to four years with two suspended.

Ciara Carney (19), of Earlsfort Gardens, Lucan, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing serious harm to Dena Jones on July 4, 2009, on Newcastle Road.

Judge Donagh McDonagh said Ms Jones had been left with "horrendous" and "probably permanent scars" in an unprovoked attack.

"Ms Jones was minding her own business and had actually got off the pavement to let this other bunch through," Judge McDonagh said.





Abusing

He noted that it had impacted on her psychologically, her employment, her social life and relationships. He accepted that Carney had come from a troubled background and said to describe her family as dysfunctional "was probably being charitable".

Judge McDonagh noted that she had started drinking at 13 years old and abusing cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy by the time she was 14. He said the seriousness of offence deserved a sentence of six years. But he said he had to give Carney credit for her plea of guilty, the fact that she had engaged in a "meaningful way" with the probation service, and that she had since addressed both her alcohol and drug problems.

Judge McDonagh then suspended the final two years of the sentence on condition that Carney keep the peace and be of good behaviour for five years upon her release from prison.

Garda Rory O'Sullivan told James Dwyer, prosecuting, that the victim was socialising with her friends in Lucan on the night and on their way home to Hillcrest, when they saw four girls walking towards them.

Ms Jones told gardai that all she remembered was "one of them came over to me and struck me over the head".





Bleeding

"It felt like a punch at the start but then I was bleeding all over and realised it was a bottle she attacked me with," Ms Jones said in her statement.

She was brought to hospital where she received emergency treatment to the eight centimetre laceration on the side of her face and the seven centimetre laceration on her left breast.

Carney was arrested the following day but initially only admitted she was at the scene. Later she admitted breaking the bottle over Ms Jones and said, "I don't know how I caused it. I was drunk really and I have a problem with drink".

Mr Dwyer said Ms Jones is on anti-depressants, suffers panic attacks and has ceased working. She has since returned home to her parents in Co Tyrone.

hnews@herald.ie